Question about Alternative Names for Places

Hi folks,

I’m having issues with inconsistencies in how Gramps displays date-bound place names. This is best illustrated with an example. (I had to combine all four screenshots into one, as being a new user means I can only add one image per post. Sorry about that.)

Have a look at the event below (first image), which happened in 1879. Note that in the Event Reference Editor, the place is assembled using the canonical (present day) name of each component part, which makes sense because until you settle on a date, Gramps can’t be sure what to display.

Once you save the event, it displays as in the second image. Note that the city of Buenos Aires used to be called “Capital Federal” in 1879, so it’s perfect that it displays as such once the date is locked in. However, the street Bernardo de Irigoyen was called “Buen Orden” in 1879, but it only ever displays with its canonical (current) name.

The third image is how I set up the alternate names for Buenos Aires.

The fourth is how I set up the alternate names for the street Bernardo de Irigoyen. I even tried deleting the other two alternate names and setting the date for “Buen Orden” to “before 1882-12-31”, but there’s no change to how it’s displayed.

So my question is, is this a bug? Why does part of the place name (the city) resolve the alternate name according to its date, but another part (the street) does not?

Thanks in advance for your insights!

You have the dates for the alternative names, but what do you have set for the primary name field?

At the end of the Name field, there is an editor for the Name, the same that you get when adding/editing an alternative name. This entry is evaluated first. If it returns as true for the event date, the alternative names are never considered.

I send back your edit place image


I noticed that you have a comma between the house Number and the Street name. I am not sure if that is the custom in Argentina.

But if it is not, the Place Format Editor can be used to set how this is displayed. The house number must have the place Type “Number” and the street, you guessed it, “Street”. You can set the display to ## Street or Street ##.



Like Ibaca I’ve got the same issue. I didn’t know how to use this editor before your post, so I just try to use it, adding a begining date for primary name, but nothing change, as you can see, what ever is the date in place, primary or alternate, primary place is always displayed in events (in this example, street number):

Note my gramps language is french, so in english; après is after, entre et is between and, and avant is before

What you are showing are the Event edit screens.when they are open, the place is not “seeing” the date so displays the place as it would be today. What place is displayed in the event list?

You may also want to check the entry for “25”. An event in 1850 would return as true. Changing that record’s time span to “from 1879 to 1882” would change that so the “285” entry would then be the only true option.

Also, you have no option that would return as true for an event date between 1882 and 1885. An event between those dates would return “?, …” because no option would return as true.

To remove the comma after the Number, see my earlier post.

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Thanks Dave for your answer.

Effectively if I look at the event list in person editor it’s okay if I add a date into primary place editor. Thanks again.

Event list without primary place date:

Event list with primary place date:

Hi Dave,

Thanks so much for pointing this out. I had obviously configured this for the “Capital Federal” case, but being so long ago I completely forgot it existed. After going through all my streets with changed names and setting the proper dates, it displays as expected.

Best regards,

This is great, I didn’t even know about that feature.

In my family tree I have people who lived in Argentina, but also some in the US. Is there a way to conditionally set the address format so that I get “Street Number” in Argentina but “Number Street” in the US?

Thanks again!

At this point no. You would have to pick which configuration would be most prominent in your tree. Most of my work is in the U.S. The place hierarchy works well with the ## Street system and then having the Street ## when needed as a single entry and alphabetized under the city.

There is some place enhancements coming in the 5.2 release. I am not sure if it will handle both configurations based upon locales. I do not remember if this was part of a “wish list” when place ideas were tossed about. I am trying to get a sneak peek at the changes but it is more work than expected to integrate changes before they are completely ready.

Just to clarify, what do you mean by “having the Street ## when needed as a single entry and alphabetized under the city”?

Instead of putting the Street and Number as separate hierarchy entries, I will configure my few European street addresses as a single entry. “Wilhelmstrasse 21”. This entry will alphabetize under the city.

Consider if my Display setting was Street Number. My European address would utilize the place hierarchy. I would then need to set my U.S. addresses as a single entry “101 Main Street” under the city. This entry would not alphabetize under the city.

The (hopefully) upcoming changes in the next major version of Gramps includes a way to customize the place formatting based on location. In particular, you can have country specific “Street Number” in Argentina and “Number Street” in the US.

If you are interested, GEPS_045:Place_Model_Enhancements-_Place_Changes_Screenshots has some documentation and screenshots of the proposed changes.


Understood, thanks for clearing that up!

Great stuff, thanks for the sneak peek!

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